This is a reblog of my own post from Friday about vapid narcissism. It is so important that we use accurate words to communicate with each other, especially when communicating about spiritual truths. So I studied those two words and walked them out . . .
A further thought I had, leading to this second part to the post, was how often we try to convince people that we accept them in all shapes and sizes, because God accepts them in all shapes and sizes. We bend over backwards to do this after weight loss, both for the sake of the Kingdom but also because we do not want to be mistaken for one of those vapid narcissists who only value people for their thinness.
However, I think a mistake we make is to turn around and loudly run ourselves down for the years we spent in an overweight condition, even holding up our previous pictures for ridicule. What does that say to the person struggling with weight issues? What if I ridicule a picture of myself at 260 pounds in front of a 300 pound woman? Am I showing her grace or condemnation? I think the latter.
I have always been careful to bring a much-loved portrait of Noel and me when I was at 260 pounds to show as my “before” picture at Weight Watchers. I emphasize that that was still a beautiful woman and I am still the same person. I think it is important to do that for the sake of the women before me struggling with morbid obesity. I also think it is important to do that for the sake of my own integrity. I am still that same person. And I could regain weight someday. I hope I will not, but it could happen. No promises in life. Steroids for chemotherapy put on 40 of my pounds!
It is counterintuitive, isn’t it? You would think I was more spiritual for distancing myself from the 260-pound Mary, but, in the end, identifying with the 260-pound Mary is where I find spiritual growth.
We all are fallen and desperately broken. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Jeremiah, speaking for the Lord, told us that. So, in embracing the fact that I have fallen and can only get up by the work of a wonderful Saviour in my life, Jesus Christ, I become most fully the person He created me to be!
And in pronouncing a picture of a 260-pound woman beautiful, me in my former state, I don’t become a vapid narcissist, but a beacon of hope for others who struggle.
Amen and amen!